Meet Our Nurses

Peggy Lutes RN, CH

Peggy has been working with birthing moms and dads for over 30 years. She received her RN from Bryn Mawr Hospital and worked there as a labor, delivery and postpartum nurse. Her love of teaching was obvious even then, when she developed classes in Baby Care and Breastfeeding for the couples at the hospital. She was trained by Childbirth Education Association and is certified as a Childbirth Education Specialist. She moved to New Jersey, worked at Garden State Hospital in their labor and delivery unit and worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in their Antenatal Testing Center. She assisted with the set up and was Head Nurse of the Antenatal testing unit at West Jersey Health System in Vorhees, NJ. Peggy moved with her family 20 years ago to Delaware and worked at St Francis Hospital in their labor and delivery. She came to the Birth Center 13 years ago as part of St Francis and loved it. It really is a wonderful place for families to have a special birth experience. Her first grandchild Adeline was born at the Birth Center in 2006.

Peggy is a Consulting Hypnotist, a Certified Hypnobirthing Educator, Certified HypnoFertility Therapist and founder of Gentle Healing Hypnosis.

Peggy says, “After attending the first birth at the Birth Center I really felt that I went full circle in my career and was thrilled to be back where birth is still considered a miracle of life.”

Megan Jones, RN

Megan Jones BSN, RN; Nurse Manager at the Birth Facility, Megan Received her Nursing Degree from the is a graduate of the University of Delaware Nursing Class of ’07.  She started her nursing career working in the Shock Trauma ICU at Christiana Hospital for 6 years before changing her career path to Women’s Health.  In 2013, she took a Job at Union Hospital in their Labor and Delivery Unit and then moving to The Birth Center in 2016.  Megan and her husband Michael have 4 kids; Charlotte, Georgia, Felicity, and Elliot.  They all live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and enjoy hiking, kayaking, and homesteading on their small farm.   

Debbie Jones, RN

Deb graduated from Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Nursing School in 1977. Yes 40 years ago! From the start, she knew the difference she wanted to make in this world was through work in women’s health. Immediately after graduating, she worked in Presbyterian Hospital‘s Labor and Delivery department. Since then she has worked in the tri-state area (PA, NJ, DE) entirely in OB/GYN nursing. It was most important to her to be part of offering excellent healthcare to women at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives, pregnancy and birth. She has worked 40 years in labor and delivery; triaging OB/GYN women, doing high-risk home care, case managing pregnant women, teaching prenatal classes, performing prenatal testing, and working in birth centers.

Deb has four children, a dog and 5 cats (because of course, the cat she rescued was pregnant!). Although she has worked in many genres, The Birth Center is definitely her idea of offering the most excellent care to women in one of the most vulnerable times of their lives, pregnancy and birth.

Abbey Trautmann, RN, BSN

Growing up, Abbey developed an interest in nursing and women’s health when she visited her mom’s L&D floor and thought it was so cool that babies were born there! Abbey graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2016. She learned about The Birth Center during her OB class there and instantly connected with the view that childbirth is a normal process that women’s bodies have been created to do and not something to fear. After graduating, Abbey began her career in women’s health on a mother-baby floor at a hospital in Baltimore. In November 2018, she and her husband welcomed their first baby, Aden. After having a great birth experience and attending the mom and baby groups here at TBC, Abbey was sure that helping other moms during their birth and postpartum journey was what she wanted to do. “It’s so refreshing to see and work with women and families who are involved with and attuned to their healthcare.” In her free time, Abbey enjoys spending time with her family and friends, swimming, and being outdoors.

Allison LaRusso, RN

Allison has spent the last decade of her career working in critical care, ER and pediatrics. She has had two of her children here and has loved every part of her birth center experience! The staff here is so inspiring and she feels honored that she gets to work with the wonderful individuals that helped her through her motherhood journey. She feels very grateful to be able to now provide that support and empowerment to other women. 
                                                                                                                                                                    Allison is the mother of three wonderful humans – Ace, Vivian and Fiona. She is thrilled to be sharing her life with her wonderful husband Nick. In her spare time she loves to cook, run, read, go to the beach and cuddle with her dogs.  

 

 
 

Darci O’Donnell, RN

Darci has always been passionate about birth and women’s wellness even from a young age. When pregnant with her first child, 14 years ago, she found The Birth Center and fell in love with the atmosphere. All three of her children were born in the yellow room upstairs, in what she describes as “the most empowering and uplifting experiences of my life.”

Darci has worked as a doula, with Birth In Full Bloom for the last 5 years, helping women fulfill their birth goals. During that time she realized this was the field she wanted to work in once graduating from nursing school. For the last 8 years, Darci has worked at AI DuPont Children’s hospital, first as an aide, and then as a nurse on a med/surg unit. She plans on continuing her education to become a Nurse Midwife.

“I am very excited to be apart of the Birth Center team, as many of these women have been in my life since my first pregnancy. It truly is a family here and this has been a goal of mine for a long time!”

Joanna Maclntosh, RN, BSN

Joanna (she/her) loves helping folks achieve happy, healthy births and welcome their little ones into the world. Prior to becoming a nurse, she was a volunteer EMT on her college campus and in her community. Joanna graduated from Villanova University with her BSN in 2018. She worked on Labor & Delivery and Postpartum units in DC and PA before coming to TBC. In December of 2021, she will graduate from University of Pennsylvania and become a nurse midwife! 

In her free time, Joanna loves reading, spending time with friends and family, practicing yoga, and watching scary movies.

 

Charlotte Kelly, RN, BSN, CLC

Charlotte received her BSN in 1988 from Seton Hall University. Her entire career has been devoted to Maternal Infant Health.  Over the years, she has worked in maternity, labor and delivery, pediatrics and as a nurse for the Nurse Family Partnership program in public health.  She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor. Her passion is in walking alongside mothers during this special time in their lives.  She loves to teach and help moms and families learn their own way and achieve their goals in becoming families.

Charlotte and her husband have seven children, ranging in age from 18-31.  As you can imagine, it was and still is a busy household! She loves to spend time with her husband and children boating and hiking, and when there is a quiet moment you can often find her in the garden or reading! She is also a mom to two dogs and two cats…further adding to the fun! 

 

Michelle Varisco, RN, BSN

The universe has guided Michelle to Cuenca Ecuador as an exchange student, St. Louis, Missouri as an AmeriCorps volunteer and then to Delaware where she spent a decade bartending and working on her bachelors degree in Behavioral Science. While on this trajectory she mistakenly enrolled herself into a nursing course and fell in love. Michelle earned her BSN from The University of Delaware’s Accelerated Nursing program in 2014 and has spent her time since in The Nemours Cardiac Center as a bedside nurse and Patient Flow Supervisor.

While pregnant with her youngest daughter, Michelle found The Birth Center as a mother. Always enamored by the amazing care she received as a patient, Michelle quietly dreamt of working at The Birth Center. One day at a wellness visit, years after the birth of her child, Michelle inquired about an open nursing position. Wellness visit to employment; Michelle has followed her path to joining us here at The Birth Center. Michelle is passionate about empowering families through education so they can live healthy happy lives. 

When not working Michelle relaxes through exercise and movement. She is always on the hunt for a good book or a creepy podcast. Michelle lives in Newark with her life partner Mike and their three children.

 

Erin Lelko, BSN, RN

Erin spent most of her life surrounded by the medical field – it wasn’t until she headed to Africa on a medical mission trip that she quickly realized nursing was her passion. It was there she learned to care for the whole person (mind, body, spirit) and how to achieve the optimal well-being of a patient. She received her BSN through Neumann University, where her passion for women’s health and maternal medicine was cultivated through involvement in the Social Justice Committee. In 2017 she began her first job with Penn Medicine, Womens and Babies Hospital as a postpartum nurse. Only to confirm her passion for delivery, postpartum, and lactation care. In 2019 she joined Bayada Home Health Pediatrics to widen her view of community nursing. The bustle of the hospital left her longing to spend time with patients and to truly give them autonomy in the care of their families.
Erin loves spending quality time with her family. She and her husband lead international mission trips and serve in youth ministries. Her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, playing music, attending concerts.
The birth of a baby truly changes lives and Erin believes that no matter if it’s the first child or fifth, for a woman it’s another crucial new beginning! That is why she is truly excited to be welcomed onto The Birth Center team. A place where the whole person and family is not only cared for but helped and encouraged to be completely autonomous for the care of their body and child. 

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“I highly recommend TBC because of the high standard of care and the one-on-one attention that each staff member gives to each client.”

- Kelly